April 26th, 2012 2:06pm
|I grew up hanging out at magic clubs. While I think that time was incredibly valuable to my growth as a magician, there's no question that I also picked up some very bad habits. The most insidious, in my opinion, was the "one-liners" and "heckler stoppers." I had all of the Harry Allen Sleight of... books and knew all the lines.
It wasn't until much later, when I was working as a professional, that it became very clear to me that these lines were keeping me from getting work, especially high-end gigs. I don't know about you, but I don't know many people that like being insulted. Likewise, educated people typically don't enjoy low-brow humor. My clients and their guests certainly didn't.
I also realized that being funny for a living was very difficult. If you look at any serious comedian or comedy magician, they have tens of thousands of hours of writing, failing, re-writing and honing behind their acts. It's hard work and there really aren't any shortcuts, even when you're naturally funny, which most magicians aren't (even though they may think they are).
So even though I did laugh at some of the lines in these books, I cannot recommend them to anyone in good conscious. I fear that they give you false confidence. Most importantly, I fear that, as I found, you may end up losing gigs if you use too much of this type of material in your show.
If you want a true Comedy Helper, take some improve classes. Find a mentor that's been successful in the business for a long time. And start working open mic nights. Unlike your buddies at the magic club, those audiences will be brutally honest with you.
Product info for Comedy Helper 2
Author: Bourgoin, StephanePublisher: Stephane BourgoinAverage Rating: (1)Retail Price: $19.95
Over 250 jokes, cartoons, gags, visual stunts and one-liners especially for magicians and mentalists!
I have a deck of 52 cards. I counted them in front of a mirror to make sure I didn't cheat!
To me, the best definition of an optimist is a mime with a pager.
When I die, I want to be cremated. It's even in my contract that 10% of my ashes will go to my agent.
Just remember that you are unique...just like everyone else.
Pages: 67 - 5.5" x 8.5" - Softcover - Perfect bound - black and white illustrations